Spouses get the 411 during orientation day
Spouses watch as a C-17 aircraft taxi's after landing on Joint Base Charleston-Air Base. More than 60 spouses were given the opportunity to take a spouse orientation flight to learn what their spouse's job entailed during a routine training flight onboard a Charleston C-17, Oct. 16. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer Hudson)
Spouses get the 411 during orientation day

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer Hudson
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

10/19/2010 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The airlift squadrons of the 437th Operations Group hosted a spouse's orientation day, allowing military spouses an inside look at the daily operations at what his or her spouse does for the United States Air Force.

The orientation is a way to familiarize military spouses with their servicemembers' job and showcase the unit's mission, as well as meet other newcomers in the squadron. More than 60 spouses were given the opportunity to learn what their Airman's job entailed during a routine training flight onboard a Charleston C-17, Oct. 16.

"This flight orientation is to give them a general understanding of the difficulty level and technicality of their spouse's job," said 1st Lt. J.D. Shaw, head coordinator of the event and pilot for the 17th Airlift Squadron. "Plus, this is a great morale booster in that it lets them know that they are a part of the Air Force family and a big key player to the team."

To start the day, Col. Bob Holba, commander of 437 OG, thanked everyone for coming and gave a brief opening statement stressing the importance that the spouses knew that they are an essential part of that squadron every day.

For many of the spouses, this was their first time inside a C-17, and many of them took the opportunity to explore the plane, looking out windows, cycling through the cockpit to see what the pilot and co-pilot does and watching an aerial refueling.

"The flight is pretty neat, especially when we were refueling," said Anna Osgood, the wife of 1st Lt. Michael Osgood, a member of the 15th Airlift Squadron who is currently deployed to the Middle East. "It was neat, but scary. A little too nerve racking for me to see how close we had to get to the other plane."

Mrs. Osgood said these types of events are important because they allow her and other new members to meet people in the area, making her feel part of the Air Force while her husband is deployed.

Other spouses commented on how they didn't know what their spouse's job entailed, even though their spouse would try to explain. Clarity set in for many after seeing the daily operations performed.

Spouses were flown from Charleston Air Base to North Field, S.C., where they watched the C-17s conduct training; dropping large pallets and small containers from the cargo bay area of the aircraft.

"I was really excited to see what type of work my husband does," Mrs. Osgood said. "I definitely have a greater respect for his job."

"This is a great program," said Capt. Justin Jarrell, 17th Airlift Squadron. "It gives us a chance to show them what we do, giving them more clarity and understanding of the job. The event also gets the spouses integrated with the team, because they are ultimately a part of the team in the home-life supporting their military spouse--they are essential."